For Advocates of Gay Adoption, Progress but Also Obstacles

This article was originally published in the Associated Press (AP).

This June 26, 2016 photo provided by the family shows Kevin Neubert, background center, and Jim Gorey with their adopted children, from left, Luke, Derek, Natalie, Zach, and Jacob at the Chicago Pride Parade. Following night classes to qualify as foster parents, Neubert and Gorey agreed in December 2011 to provide a temporary home for a newborn baby. A stay intended to last only for a few days was extended into several months, and Neubert and Gorey learned that the baby had four older siblings who were also in foster care. They eventually decided to adopt all five. (Nicole Gifford Baugh/Jim Gorey via AP)

 

With tens of thousands of children lingering in foster care across the United States, waiting for adoption, Illinois schoolteachers Kevin Neubert and Jim Gorey did their bit. What began with their offer to briefly care for a newborn foster child evolved within a few years into the adoption of that little boy and all four of his older siblings who also were in foster care.

The story of their two-dad, five-kid family exemplifies the potential for same-sex couples to help ease the perennial shortfall of adoptive homes for foster children. Yet, even as more gays and lesbians are adopting, there are efforts by state and federal politicians to protect faith-based adoption agencies that object to placing children in such families.

Sweeping new measures in Texas and South Dakota allow state-funded agencies to refuse to place children with unmarried or gay prospective parents because of religious objections. A bill passed last month in Alabama applies to agencies using private funds. A newly introduced bill in Congress would extend such provisions nationwide.

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